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Doctor Reveals Why You Shouldn't Switch Off The Air Con On Planes

Doctor Reveals Why You Shouldn't Switch Off The Air Con On Planes

I like when planes are really cold, because then you notice the heat whack you in the face more when you step off. Unless you're on a return flight to Manchester, in which case you get whacked in the face by rain, usually.

Anyway, not everyone thinks like me - some people dislike the icy blast to the face while they're trying to relax.


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For that very reason, they'll switch off the air con above their heads - but one expert reckons that by doing this, you could be putting yourself at risk of getting ill.

Dr Mark Gendreau, medical director and vice chair of emergency medicine at Lahey Medical Center, in Massachusetts, told Travel + Leisure: "For airborne viruses, it is incredibly important to ventilate, since ventilation becomes your main means of control besides isolating the affected person."

Credit: PA

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Now for the gross bit. The reason for this is that viruses which travel through air are transmitted by tiny droplets of nuclei, and these can stick around in the air for as long as five hours. Or about as long as it takes you to get to Mykonos.

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By blasting the air con at your face, you make it impossible for the droplets to reach you because a barrier is formed, according to Dr Gendreau. Clever.

Don't you dare switch that air con off, LADS. Credit: PA

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He also said that, while many of us 'blame' the air con for spreading germs, that isn't correct and that, actually, the opposite is true: the air con protects us from the germs.

"The air that you're typically breathing and exposed to is usually anywhere from two to five rows surrounding your seat," he added.


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"The flow pattern of air on an aircraft doesn't necessarily work front to back, or back to front. It's actually compartmentalised into various sections on the aircraft."

Science.

Featured Image Credit: PA/Warner Bros

Topics: Flying, holidays

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Claire Reid

Claire is a journalist at LADbible who, after dossing around for a few years, went to Liverpool John Moores University. She graduated with a degree in Journalism and a whole load of debt. When not writing words in exchange for money she is usually at home watching serial killer documentaries surrounded by cats. You can contact Claire at [email protected]